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Via Coma - Figures Album Cover

Via Coma - Figures

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7.6
Via Coma - Figures
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: June 12, 2012
On an album that on the surface seems to be normal, yet engaging mellow indie-rock, California-based Via Coma’s full-length Figures seemingly has a... Transformers aspect to it, if you catch my drift. What’s peculiar about Figures lies in the teetering thoughts of theatrical influences, whether that lies in piano-laced processions like “Blame” or the arguable climax of said vibe “Iron Horse”, a track that is bold in its execution of stark, confident strikes of rhythm and dark melodies. It is a shame to the pop element of Figures to consider this an indie rock experimentation from front to back, but calling it a pop album isn’t quite right either – regardless of what grand melodies and bolstered production might make you consider in a listen to this album. Still, even for its underwhelming moments, Figures shines more than enough when its needs to, presenting a strong case for the band in their debut.

The success of Figures lies more though in the ability to musically rope us into something regardless of how layered or delicate it might come across. Half the time these tracks come across as slow starters, though a few jump right into things (“Blame”, “Back and Forth”) to alleviate the buildup until later on in said tracks. Nevertheless, Figures cues the indie mellows of Death Cab for Cutie (“Stitches”) and the viciously considered, often trance-inducing ripples of a screamless post-Piano Island Blood Brothers in “Iron Horse” to sprawl a landscape that peaks and valleys with each passing track. The strong production of the album only accentuates these moments, showing the strength of carefully pointed bolstering of melodies and rhythms without losing the glisten of said melodies and eluding piano lines in the process.

Whether it is harnessing upper register sizzles in “Back and Forth” or the interlaced vocal lines later in “Architects”, there’s definitely some interesting vocal work to push us as listeners to not fall prey to any sort of repetition or one-trick pony element of the vocals. Sometimes, they do leave us wishing for a little bit more considering what we’ve already heard, i.e. the beginning of “Architects”, but vocally this album does well enough to keep us guessing in terms of delivery without overusing its surprises (“Iron Horse”).

While not a radio-ready indie darling or a grand experiment with an everlasting effect on the genre, Via Coma’s willingness to transcend even themselves at times makes for a challenging, yet engulfing listen. Via Coma are often able to take their hypothesized creations to truly stunning heights, giving us something that incorporates a strongly balanced offering of trial versus tried and true. Figures might take a moment to truly sink in – but once it does, you might not be able to let go.

Check It!Full Album Stream

Recommended If You LikeDeath Cab for Cutie, The Dear Hunter
This review is a user submitted review from Jason Gardner. You can see all of Jason Gardner's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12
01:02 PM on 06/12/12
#2
Travbag
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Fair, balanced, to the point. Great job!
01:22 PM on 06/12/12
#3
reav
honestly, it was nothing.
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Proud to have been there from the start. These guys deserve everything good.
03:13 PM on 06/12/12
#4
MusicSnob&Proud
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this band is so boring. especially the singer.
02:25 PM on 06/13/12
#5
Nightmare7
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this band is so boring. especially the singer.
What are you? Some kinda music snob?
02:38 PM on 06/13/12
#6
himynameisjm
IM THE SHIT
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you sure are a snob, and a bit of an ass. this album is dark and slow at times, but overall a great listen for fans of As tall as lions, ...trail of the dead, as cities burn,ect. friends of mine and great live band!
03:33 PM on 06/13/12
#7
MusicSnob&Proud
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you sure are a snob, and a bit of an ass. this album is dark and slow at times, but overall a great listen for fans of As tall as lions, ...trail of the dead, as cities burn,ect. friends of mine and great live band!
apologies for having an opinion that differs from your own. either way, this band will be gone in less than a year. nobody will sign a band like this. they are not poppy enough to have a single or strange enough to make an impact. the review was on point with that.

there are a lot of good bands out there, but you have to stand out to last. the bands you say they sound like did that. this band and this record did not. its good to stand up for your friends, but that will not save them from being overshadowed. especially in Northern CA where you have I the Mighty, ALLB, From Indian Lakes, K Sera, and so many others who are pushing music forward and making a statement. case in point all the bands I just listed are signed and creating buzz. Via Coma will not be one of those bands, at least not with this release.
03:34 PM on 06/13/12
#8
MusicSnob&Proud
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What are you? Some kinda music snob?
user name aside.

I am a listener. I have an opinion.

...this site was built for that exact combination.
08:06 PM on 06/13/12
#9
himynameisjm
IM THE SHIT
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apologies for having an opinion that differs from your own. either way, this band will be gone in less than a year. nobody will sign a band like this. they are not poppy enough to have a single or strange enough to make an impact. the review was on point with that.

there are a lot of good bands out there, but you have to stand out to last. the bands you say they sound like did that. this band and this record did not. its good to stand up for your friends, but that will not save them from being overshadowed. especially in Northern CA where you have I the Mighty, ALLB, From Indian Lakes, K Sera, and so many others who are pushing music forward and making a statement. case in point all the bands I just listed are signed and creating buzz. Via Coma will not be one of those bands, at least not with this release.
ha k bruh. either way sucks ur proud of bein a snob. be positive! all those bands u listed will have similar careers trust me :)
09:05 PM on 06/13/12
Phatkane
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Quote:
nobody will sign a band like this. they are not poppy enough to have a single or strange enough to make an impact
I don't know why bands these days have to be 'poppy' to make an impact. I'm loving every minute of this album, each to their own!
12:57 AM on 06/14/12
fuldanips
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apologies for having an opinion that differs from your own. either way, this band will be gone in less than a year. nobody will sign a band like this. they are not poppy enough to have a single or strange enough to make an impact. the review was on point with that.

there are a lot of good bands out there, but you have to stand out to last. the bands you say they sound like did that. this band and this record did not. its good to stand up for your friends, but that will not save them from being overshadowed. especially in Northern CA where you have I the Mighty, ALLB, From Indian Lakes, K Sera, and so many others who are pushing music forward and making a statement. case in point all the bands I just listed are signed and creating buzz. Via Coma will not be one of those bands, at least not with this release.
Fair opinion. I will respectfully disagree with you on the fact that a band needs to be poppy or weird to get signed. I'll also further disagree with you about the statement that this band can't fit the latter category. It is people like you, who assume that bands need to fit a "mold" in order to be good, that are causing originality to be lost within music.

I highly doubt this band will be gone within less than a year. The diligence, motivation, and determination they've shown by writing and releasing this full length record completely funded by themselves is living proof that they're not going to let some nobody on a music website stop them from doing what they enjoy doing.

I am a firm believer in expressing your own opinion, even if it's negative, like yours. But for goodness sake, at least be constructive about it. Smiting down artists by saying they won't last the year is just plain rude. Get yourself in check. This is the result of countless hours of hard work and dedication to something they love. Have a little respect.

Anyway, I think the album is well rounded. I'm very impressed at the production value on it for a band that's not even on a label. Guitar work is fantastic as expected. I feel like Iron Horse is the strongest on the record. I will say that I don't agree with the Death Cab reference. Although the vocals don't truly stand out, the harmonies and octaves are done well, and the falsetto is pristine. I feel like this was a very solid foot in the door to a scene that is growing ever further, especially in California. I'm excited to see what these gentlemen do next and will continue to be enthralled by their live show.
12:26 PM on 06/26/12
abusedcat
Long Gone Before Daylight
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So proud of these boys.
They've come a long way!

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